President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and visiting Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman attended on Tuesday the final operation to renovate al Azhar Mosque.
The three-year renovation works are the largest in the history of the 1000-year-old mosque.
The restoration process, funded by a grant by former Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and sponsored by Saudi King Salman, includes replacing and upgrading the mosque’s infrastructure.
The restoration has taken into account the archaeological nature of the mosque, as all steps were taken under full supervision of the Ministry of Antiquities. All stages of the restoration work were documented
Shortly after arriving at the mosque, President Sisi and Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman offered prayers and listened to a detailed explanation of the restoration process as well as the history of al Azhar mosque.
After that, they started a tour inside the mosque along with Al Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed El Tayyeb.
Antiquities Minister Khaled el Anani said Al Azhar Mosque was established in 972 (361H) on an area of 12,000 square meters to be the fourth largest mosque in Egypt.
Since its establishment, there were various renovation works at the mosque but the restoration project launched in 2015 is considered the largest throughout the mosque’s history.
After that, President Sisi and the visiting Saudi crown prince listened to a detailed explanation for the projects being carried out inside the mosque.
One of these project is a new hostel for accommodating foreign students from 120 countries studying at Al Azhar institutions.
Also, the projects include a new Azhar channel that will be meant to spread the upright teachings of Islam.
Al Azhar printing complex was also renovated to print 500,000 versions of the Holy Quran and one million books a year.